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Government announcement on new homes fails to address real problem PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 05 January 2016

In response to today’s Government announcement that it "is to step in and directly commission thousands of new affordable homes" largely on publicly-owned land and brownfield sites, CPS authors Keith Boyfield and Daniel Greenberg comment: “The real cause of the failure to build enough new homes is not the lack of land to build on; developers already hold surplus land and there are other sites available.  The real problem is that developers will not build homes that nobody wants to buy – and people only want to buy homes in areas where they can afford to live and want to live. 

Solving that problem requires a broader approach to "affordability" and "sustainability", both of which depend in large part on the long-term employment and other economic opportunities in an area as well as on the available infrastructure in the widest sense.

That is why the Centre for Policy Studies is recommending a major deregulatory initiative: Pink Planning (see here and here for the latest reports). This proposes bringing together effective coalitions of developers, investors, local authorities, utility providers, businesses and other employers, actual and prospective residents and civil society; it incentivises the active partnership of all those key stakeholders by offering a streamlined legislative solution to cut through the existing complexity and delays of the planning system, to deliver new and sustainable neighbourhood communities where people want to live and can afford to live, and where developers therefore want to build.

Until the Government is prepared to take a more holistic look at the problem and embrace a creative solution along the lines of Pink Planning, announcements like today's will simply prepare people for 2016 as another year of missed targets and unfulfilled expectations.”

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